Last February, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez proposed a referendum vote to end the constitutional limits to the number of times he can run for president. And he won, allowing him the right to indefinite reelection. It was a heated vote as many Venezuelans view Chávez as the father of a much-needed socialist revolution, while others see him as mere steps away from being a dictator. Both sides are intensely passionate.
When I first arrived in Venezuela, I confused the ubiquitous firework mortars with gunshots. But one night laying on my air-mattress in the slums of Caracas I figured out the difference. Rapid succession. Clack-clack-clack—clack. Fireworks don’t do that. It’s hard to fall asleep while imaging some kid bleeding to death between a car and the curb.
Don’t get me wrong. Venezuela is a beautiful country with incredibly kind people. But like anywhere else, it’s not without its problems.
I just returned from Colombia and Venezuela. I’m still trying to process all that I saw. But here’s the in-between. These are all photos from the buses from one dream to the next.
I haven’t seen my friends in two months. I miss them dearly.